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Enumclaw council authorizes committee to tackle task of refurbishing Pete's Pool football field

An ambitious upgrade to Enumclaw's historically significant but out-of-date football field moved another step closer to reality Monday night.

Members of the City Council unanimously approved a motion authorizing a group of volunteers to reconstruct Pete's Pool, the all-grass field within the confines of the Enumclaw Expo Center.

A move to refurbish the field has been talked about for years and has been tackled by a group with the moniker Your Enumclaw Area Stadium, better known as the YEAS Committee.

Monday's resolution states that YEAS will obtain all necessary permits and that a construciton agreement between YEAS and the city will be in place before work begins.

YEAS has touted a two-phase development, the first step relating to replacement of the football field and the second concerning new grandstands and other amenities.

Phase I includes, among other things, removal of the existing grass surface, excavation of six to 18 inches of soil, installation of a drainage system, installation of a concrete border around the field and placement of an artificial turf surface.

Stadium boosters hope to accomplish the work between May and August.

Before the council endorsed the resolution, Mayor Liz Reynolds confirmed the city administration's support for the YEAS effort.

In other action Monday night, the council:

• agreed to give the Chamber of Commerce financial assistance when it comes to monthly rent paid for space in the city-owned building on Cole Street.

The issue was first raised last month by Councilman Sean Krebs, who serves as the council's liaison to the chamber. He reported the chamber was led to believe it would not have to pay rent in 2011, since the city had cut off its traditional, annual financial award to the organization.

Finance Director Stephanie McKenzie offered the council three options Monday night, none of which was adopted. The council did, however, agree to a proposal forwarded by Councilman Jeff Beckwith, who suggested an amendment to the 2011 budget that would give the chamber a $3,000 award, to be returned in the form of rent.

• heard from King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, whose district includes Enumclaw.

Dunn said the county budget is in sorry shape at the present and "it could get even uglier."

Twenty-eight sheriff's deputies have received pink slips, he said, adding that unincorporated King County has the second-lowest police presence in the state with .65 officers per 1,000 residents.

Dunn also took the opportunity to restate his support for the King County Fair, an idea whose time is now long gone. The gradual death of the fair, he said, was "a huge failure of King County government."

He told his Enumclaw audience that he lobbied for fair money in the county's 2011 budget but the notion was largely disregarded as "Reagan Dunn's pet project."

The lack of fair money, he concluded, was "one of the principal reasons I opposed the budget."

• heard from City Administrator Mike Thomas, who offered an update on continued talks with the King County Library System. Enumclaw citizens were slated to vote April 26 on a measure that proposed annexing Enumclaw into the independent taxing district. The lack of details surrounding the potential transfer sidetracked the process and council members opted to pull the election off the table.

It was noted at the time, however, that an election remained possible at a later date.

Thomas told the council Monday night that the library district has rejected the idea of a vote later this year. If the vote is to come up again, it would be February 2012 at the earliest.

• listened as Public Works Director Chris Searcy gave an update on city's successful effort to meet demands of the state's Utilities and Transportation Commission.

"When this whole process started it was a very bad thing," Searcy said, reminding everyone of a UTC press release issued in February  2009 that told how Enumclaw could be fined up to $11 million if improvements weren't made to its natural gas distribution system.

All the required work has been accomplished, Searcy said, just in time for the UTC's next standard inspection, which begins next week.

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